Let's rewind a bit: Summer 2020. Most restaurants were open, but not open. You could get carry-out/drive-thru, but couldn't sit and have a meal. Fast forward to today and, almost every local restaurant is struggling, not with COVID restrictions, but with hiring enough folks to keep doors open. But the big fast-food giants? Didn't they seem immune? Well, they aren't, and they're again closing their doors and sending everyone through the drive-through.

Long waits for "fast-food"

Having a lack of staffing causes numerous issues, mainly the time it takes to serve customers. KCRG reports drive-thru customers at the Hiawatha Dairy Queen experienced a 20-minute wait for orders due to staffing issues. Furthermore, many area fast-food restaurants, like area Wendy's and Taco Bell locations have had to close dining areas due to, you guessed it, not having enough staff to take orders inside and outside (drive-thru). The report from KCRG also mentions the McDonald’s on Blairs Ferry is advertising that they're hiring employees, and paying $13 an hour.

If you need work, while it may not be a dream job, making $13 an hour is very strong compared to the average hourly wage for a fast-food worker. The website Payscale claims the average worker for this type of work only makes about $9.14 an hour. While this is for Chicago, it's likely not much different in Cedar Rapids, or anywhere in Eastern Iowa.

Patience may be the best virtue when dining out

With staffing crunches, longer waits should be expected at prime times. It can be frustrating, but it's understandable, and worth it if you really have to have that Big Mac!

Free or Cheap Iowa Road Trip Destinations

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See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

Using government and news reports, Stacker has traced the history of cafeteria meals from their inception to the present day, with data from news and government reports. Read on to see how various legal acts, food trends, and budget cuts have changed what kids are getting on their trays.